I recently read Squire Rushnell’s When God Winks at You. Within days of finishing the book, a friend (let’s call him Paul) shared a story with me that made me exclaim, “You know what that was? That was a God wink!”
Paul comes from a very close-knit family. His 42-year old uncle is dying of cancer. He was admitted to a cancer center in another state several weeks ago. Paul has been given a great deal of responsibility including the medical power of attorney for his uncle. In addition, he is helping to support his cousins financially as well as serving as the emotional bedrock that the entire family seems to lean on.
The last few months have been emotionally draining as his uncle’s body refused to respond to all traditional treatments. The doctors recently attempted an experimental treatment that, essentially will either heal him or kill him.
A couple weeks ago, Paul made the 10-hour drive to the cancer center to visit his uncle. The day that Paul arrived, his grandfather (the sick uncle’s older brother and Paul’s father-figure) was celebrating his birthday. No one expected the uncle to live past that day.
Paul admitted that he was mad at God. He scolded God thinking, “how can you take my uncle on grand dad’s birthday?” “How can you put my aunt and uncle through this? They have served you loyally for decades and this is the thanks they get!”
Then a strange thing happened. One of the first people Paul met at the center was the mother of his uncle’s next door neighbor. She was there comforting her daughter who was dying as well. When the woman met Paul, she shook his hand and said, “I have been praying for you, your family and your uncle for weeks”. In that moment, Paul’s heart sank as he realized how angry he was.
I believe God winked at Paul at that moment through that woman.
His uncle is still struggling for his life and, most likely, will lose his fight in the coming days but I hope Paul will carry the memory of that wink with him in his pocket and pull it out in times of tumoil.